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Women, Sport, and Film - 2002
Student Papers
On Serendip

A Tale of Apocalypses, Men, Women, & Sports

Laura Bang

This movie is set in a post-apocalyptic society in the year 2010. After World War III broke out, the world was destroyed in the year 2008. The survivors have no memory of what their planet used to be like, or how they used to live. The earth is covered in layers of debris that archaeologists are sifting through to figure out how people lived before the world was destroyed. Along with the "death" of our modern world, women's rights also died, and men think they are far superior once more.

Opening scenes (each is only a few seconds long): Close up of blade chopping vegetables, zoom out to see that blade is actually ice skate. Cut to: restaurant with people eating soup out of semi-deflated basketballs.

Cut to: Opening credits with people playing in background: people are running around wearing helmets and throwing a hockey puck at each other's heads.

Cut to: people on an archeological dig, sifting through the dirt with tennis rackets. Most of a track has been unearthed, and the archaeologists think it is called a "Coca-Cola" because of the large sign at one end of the field in the center of the track.

One of our heroines is named Soleada Lluvia, and she has just unearthed a badminton birdie and is studying it. She is distracted when the archaeologists who have been uncovering the track announce that they have finished. She drops the birdie and joins the others as they stare at the track. They remember seeing people run in circles around such a thing from damaged movies they have uncovered on previous expeditions.

The men immediately begin discussing how this must have been used as a sports arena for men. The women point out that they saw women running in the movies, too, but they men just laugh at them and say that women are too weak to do sports. The women become angry and start citing famous female athletes they read about in records they found. They mention Babe Didrickson, FloJo, Wilma Rudolph, and others. The men point out that that was before the world ended, and say that now women are weak again. The women assert that women never were weak, then or now, and challenge the men to a contest.

They decide to hold their contest in one month - to give them time to train, and time to research more of the sports of the past. They also decide the stakes of the contest: if the women lose, they have to stop being archaeologists and stay at home to cook and clean for the rest of their lives; if the men lose, they will be socially ostracized and will no longer be able to be archaeologists.

During the training period, there are numerous close-ups of people's feet.

Soleada Lluvia becomes the leader of the women's team, and gives them lots of encouragement. The girls take the contest seriously - even though everyone laughs at them - and start getting into shape.

Caliente "Cal" Nieve takes charge of the men's team. The men don't take the contest seriously, believing that the women are weaker. As a result, they don't train very hard.

When the month is up, they meet at the track to begin their contest. The events they decide to compete in are running around the track, ice hockey combined with figure skating, archery, and jacks.

The first event is archery. For this event, one person throws a snowball up in the air and the archer has to hit the snowball with the arrow. The archery goes smoothly until it is Cal's turn. When Cal tries to hit his snowball, his arrow goes astray and hits one of his teammates. The men's team turns on him and starts yelling at him, but Cal just barely manages to apologize his way out of getting beat up. The women's team laughs. The women have a marginal lead due to Cal's misfired arrow.

The second event is jacks. They play our version of jacks, and some members of the men's team do better than the women expected. Cal, however, believes that jacks is for sissies and - although he can play jacks really well - he deliberately screws up his game. The other men do well, and scold Cal for throwing his game. Cal defends himself by saying that he didn't want to be embarrassed by playing such a sissy's game, and the other men tell him that they are secure in their masculinity. After the jacks match, the teams are tied.

The third event is to run a mile (4 laps) on the track. Soleada wins the race. Fiver, one of the other women's runners, has some trouble with her race. She is running with one of the men who keeps passing her and trying to trip her, and she falls back for a little while. Then Fiver remembers Soleada's encouragement ("Girls can win!") and catches up to and passes the man, beating him by half a lap. Cal, meanwhile, trips on his own feet in the first lap and spends five minutes whining that someone tripped him. Of course, since there was no one anyone near him, no one pays any attention, so he eventually gets up and finishes the race in last place, two laps behind everyone else. Even though Fiver was the last of the women to finish, because of her blazing finish the women's team wins the race. The men's team is disgruntled towards Cal.

The fourth and last event is ice hockey combined with figure skating. The rules of the game are that every time a player tries to make a goal, they must also land a triple lutz and a triple toe loop, and these jumps must be executed with proper form and landed perfectly or the goal will not count. Both teams have trouble with the jumps, and many of them fall. For this reason, it takes a long time for anyone to score a goal. Soleada, however, leads her teammates to victory by shooting a goal and landing a quadruple instead of a triple. Everyone is so amazed by this, that they unanimously agree that she deserves a double score for her perfectly executed jump. Cal protests, but no one pays any attention to him, so he decides to show that he can land a quadruple jump as well. He succeeds only in falling on his butt and breaking the ice. Everyone falls into the lake, and when the women reach the shore, they realize that several of the men - including Cal - are still floundering in the freezing water.

Soleada and Fiver and three of the other women jump back into the water to save the men. Soleada saves Cal, despite everyone's protests from the shore. Cal is left in a sniveling heap as the rest of the men's team declares the women's team the winners of the contest. The women decide that the men are okay after all, so they decide that the men don't have to be socially ostracized or quit their jobs - with the exception of Cal, of course. However, after that, men are less likely to hold positions of power or to be paid as much as their female coworkers. The women do a victory run up the nearby stairs - which they discovered were specially crafted so that women could win a race with men up the stairs - and then bow before a statue of Athena. They then rip off their shirts and dance in their sports bras.

As for Cal, he didn't live so happily ever after - all the women he met would challenge him to contests, which he would always decline, and all the men he encountered tried to beat him up. In the end, the women and the men decide that they can be friends - except for Cal, of course. They all lived happily ever after. Until the next apocalypse, that is.




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